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The British monarchy on screen$
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Mandy Merck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099564

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099564.001.0001

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The Tudors and the post-national, post-historical Henry VIII

The Tudors and the post-national, post-historical Henry VIII

(p.309) 14 The Tudors and the post-national, post-historical Henry VIII
The British monarchy on screen

Basil Glynn

Manchester University Press

The Tudors (2007-2010) is a new type of heritage product - the internationally produced and consumed television costume drama- that has recently become an established global alternative to those of the BBC. Drawing on historical fact and previous cinematic and television portrayals of Henry VIII, it also owes its existence to non-British influences such as American and Canadian production companies. It features an international cast and was filmed in Ireland with an Irish actor as the English king. Unlike traditional British historical and heritage cinema, The Tudors does not represent the greatness of a national past through location shooting of castles and cathedrals. Instead, the world its characters occupy is often conjured from computer generated images, suggesting less the past depicted than the technology used to depict it. And rather than dealing in national concerns, its hybridized form and content lead it away from specific characteristics to international notions of British masculinity and nationhood. Via these means, Henry VIII, like Spartacus and the Borgias, joins the historical superheroes of the new multi-channel universe.

Keywords:   The Tudors, Masculinity, Nationhood, BBC, Post-national, Post-historical

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